The Running Commentary

Apple, Jobs and the need for succession

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Let me start this post by saying, along with the millions of folk in the Apple community, that I wish Steve Jobs the best possible outcome in terms of his illness. Heaven knows the fear that he must be going through and only he knows the work that lies before him. I know though, that he is going to take this on with all of the passion that has made him the inspiration that he is.

I did want to add my voice, at the same time, to the many of people who say that Steve Jobs is but one of the people that have made Apple great. Sure he is the “face” of Apple, but there is lies the issue. This illness must have been around for a little while now and surely Apple should have started with taking steps months back to bring other people into the limelight?

Equally one has to ask the question about whether there are succession plans in the wings in terms of someone taking over the reigns from Jobs. I would guess that there are but as with many firms out there the desire to protect their stock price means that they have not announced these.

The lesson in all of this is that, and I think that all CEO’s need to take this to heart, you should pick your successors and turn them into public figures. It should be clear to any investor that you have a plan. These plans make investors comfortable, the only time share prices are hit are when the investors are given news that they were not prepared for.

So let me close by saying Apple will weather this storm, they are a massive firm with really amazing people within their ranks. Steve Jobs will fight and we all wish him well, but Apple must move to cover this off. We need decisive action that shows that they will handle this crises as well as they handle any other crises.

Get well Steve! 

AppleInvestorsSteve JobsStock pricesSuccession Planning

Mike • January 15, 2009


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